Elsley Food Bank

by Elsley Primary PSA in Wembley, England, United Kingdom

Elsley Food Bank

Total raised £9,376

raised so far



Now urgently requiring chromebooks and dongles for internet access. We also continue to provide food for our children and families in need.

by Elsley Primary PSA in Wembley, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

In addition to providing Elsley food bank, we will utilise the money for supporting the children's learning and development including providing technology for children to participate in online learning.

As we enter this renewed national lockdown, the majority of our children will be staying at home for remote learning. Unfortunately many families do not have access to a laptop or the internet and this presents a huge barrier to children being able to access the high-quality remote learning provided by our school. Our area of Brent has one of the highest COVID rates of infection and so many families are choosing to keep their child safely at home rather than to attend school. This is understandable given the fact that Brent had one of the highest death rates in the first wave, the majority of families are from BAME backgrounds, disproportionately affected by COVID, and many of our families live in multi-generational households.

When we had a couple of temporary partial ('bubble') closures to self-isolate for 14 days, the government provided us with some laptops to allocate to children. This was enough for the small numbers and short times of the partial closures but nowhere near enough for the new arrangements where the whole school is participating in remote learning. Despite many families having financial difficulties, most are not eligible for Free School Meals or government support. This prompted us to set up a food bank in March 2020. During the period of school closures, we are not entitled to further devices from the government. We have received about 30 devices but we know approx. 150 families are without a device other than a smartphone. (This is families, without a device. The number of individual children without a device is many times more.) We have secured a discounted offer to provide chromebooks for £200 each, which will be fully ready for children to get straight into remote learning from home.

In addition, many of our families do not have internet access (apart from on their smartphones). The laptops for primary schools provided by the government do not have internet access so during the bubble closures in the autumn term, we paid for internet access when required. Each device requires an unlocked 'dongle' which costs approx. £50 per device. Thanks to a generous offer from Vodaphone UK we have pre-paid SIM cards which will provide data for 3 months once we have the dongle devices.

Please consider making a contribution of whatever amount you can. If you know any suppliers of unlocked dongles please ask them to consider donating some.

I would also like to take this opportunity to update you that our Elsley food bank continued to support families throughout the summer and all through the autumn term. We ensured families had sufficient supplies before Christmas and had a two-week break in distribution before recommencing in 2021.

As featured on Channel 4:  www.channel4.com/news/more-children-relying-on-food-banks-in-the-uk-during-coronavirus-crisis

As featured on BBC News: www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52488208

As featured on BBC Radio 2, Jeremy Vine: https://youtu.be/Jur3aQsfCkU 

As featured on BBC online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52551464 

At Elsley, we have always worked hard to support our families but since the COVID-19 outbreak it has become more difficult for many families to financially or physically access food.

Before the pandemic, we ran a weekly ‘food market,’ working with The Felix Project charity to distribute excess food. We never know what we will receive each week, but appreciate the support for our families. 

Since the pandemic, more families are in need. Many who are eligible for government free school meals have been unable to redeem vouchers due to problems in the system. Others are not eligible. This is truly heartbreaking and the Elsley community recognised that it was crucial to support our families, leading to the start-up of the Elsley food bank.

This project was spearheaded by a teacher who initially asked for support from the school community and many staff members made generous donations. Since receiving media attention, we are heartened by offers of support from the wider community and have set up this page to enable these donations.

On behalf of our children and families, thank you for your support.

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